The year started a bit traumatically with the loss of the old web site and ended spendidly with the creation of a new web site and a buoyant membership.
The first part of 2009 was taken up with having to re constitute the club because of insurance and banking issues. This may sound easy enough but it proved quite a headache for Mike Marshall who had to grapple with all sorts of unforseen problems, so hats off to Mike, without all his tireless efforts we wouldn’t be where we are, or even here at all.
We also had to re write all the rules, create a health and safety assesment, design the new web site, and, at the same time, prepare for our first public event ( I say ‘we’ but once again Mike was the driving force).
Our first event of the year was The Spring Fly Show at Newark. Because it was our first public event we did not know how it was going to turn out. We needn’t have worried. The event organisers did us proud, not only providing us with a nice area in the main hall but they also provided us (unexpectedly) with a very nice marquee right next to the casting area. We had our club competition on Saturday morning and then several of us spent the rest of the day and the whole of Sunday giving casting lessons. Very satisfying but totally knackering. It was the first time that I, and I suspect most of the others, except Mike, had done such concentrated instructing.
Apart from that Newark was also a financial success and virtually paid for all the clubs expenses, including the web site creation, for the year. It was also exciting to see the level of interest in distance casting that was generated.
We have been invited back for 2010 so see you there.
The all new singing and dancing web site was finally up and running in April and received universal acclaim, well, we liked it anyway, and so, apparently, do you. We have had over 15500 hits to date and on one day we had a staggering 499 hits. Amazing!
We next held a normal club event at our usual venue, Huntingdon Race course, the first event I have missed for years so I have to rely on Mike’s assessment which was:
”Sunday was an almost perfect day – for holiday makers, but not for casting! We experienced almost continuous sunshine, it was humid in the morning and less so later-on, but the worst part was an occasional puff of breeze from the north east or east, followed by completely ‘dead air’. The net result was that it was almost impossible to turn the line and leader over. Tough is hardly an adequate description and distances suffered, however, those present all seemed to enjoy their day.”
Next came, thanks to an invitation from Jonathan Tomlinson, another public day at Sportfish near Reading. This turned into another hugely successful day which you can read about in my account at the time in the new ‘News and Articles’ section.
The final event was our annual Brentwood meeting. This is the venue where records often get smashed and competition is often at it’s fiercest (but still friendly) because Paul Arden is in town and he sometimes brings some international long hitters with him. If you want to see flycasting at it’s best then put this event in your diary. The 2009 event also saw some time specifically put aside for distance instruction and quite a few turned up to take advantage and some of them were brave enough to have a go competitively with some surprising results.
This has been a fantastic year for the BFCC. After a traumatic start we have emerged stronger and healthier than we have ever been. Membership is on the up and the future for the club looks brighter than I have ever known it.
There are a few names that deserve mention for the work they have done over the last year;
John Reynolds, Roger Miles, Alex Titov, Jonathan Tomlinson, Terry Jenner and last, but not least, the tireless Mike Marshall. No doubt I have missed a name or two but thank you all for making this the best year yet for the BFCC.